SWC’s Fast Five

Murders are up, the variety of COVID symptoms gets a head scratching, a majority of small businesses are confident of making it for a year, Russian docs are not excited about the vaccine and movie drive-ins come to a Walmart near you.

So, here’s this week’s Fast Five:

1 Murder, on the rise before the pandemic, spikes in hot summer months.

Theories abound but in city after city, crime overall is down, including all types of major crime except murder, aggravated assault and in some places, car theft. “I’m sure the lockdown didn’t help,” said Tim Garrison, the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri. “When you already have a stressed economic situation and you put a lot of folks out of work, and a lot of teenagers out of school, it’s a volatile situation.”

2 Theories emerge as to why COVID-19 symptoms vary so greatly among people.

One expert says the answer may involve looking at previous vaccines individuals have had. The work of Dr. Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease specialist at University of California, San Francisco, has been to understand how more people could go through their infections with minimal or no symptoms, and found that masks make a difference. “What the mask does is reduce the amount of virus that you get in, if you do get infected,” she said.

3 So this is unexpected. More than 60 percent of small business owners are confident of their one-year survival.

While Yelp reports 80,000 small businesses permanently closed from March through July, a CNBC/Survey Monkey Small Business Survey indicates government relief efforts including PPP, support from local communities, the adoption of technology and pivoting to new lines of business, are responsible for the turnaround in attitude among business owners.

4 Majority of Russian doctors wary of COVID-19 vaccine.

Russia announced this week that it had the world’s first vaccine for the novel coronavirus, called Sputnik V. More than half of  Russian doctors surveyed said they were not ready to be vaccinated, just a fifth said they would recommend the vaccine to patients, colleagues or friends.

5 Coming to a city possibly near you, drive-in movies at your local Walmart.

Created in response to the coronavirus, 160 Walmart stores across the country are hosting drive-in movie nights until the end of October, starting today, August 14, with films curated by Walmart’s drive-in partner, the Tribeca Film Festival.